zorb: (S/D cute - SG)
zorb ([personal profile] zorb) wrote2007-05-21 06:24 pm

Ficathon - SG-1 - Compromised

Title: Compromised
Author: [livejournal.com profile] zorb
Rating: PG-13, for innuendo
Spoilers: Set vaguely in S10 or thereabouts. *waves hand* Specific spoilers are only through S9 and the S10 team's composition.
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] surrealphantast in the [livejournal.com profile] sd_ficathon
Prompt: "Sam and Daniel stranded off-world and becoming aware of each other in a romantic way. The hotter the better." I hope this fits the bill!
Summary: Sam and Daniel are best friends and science nerds who never argue because they're so much alike. This clearly indicates their sibling-like relationship. And if you believe that, I've got a kassa farm on Mars I'd like to sell you. Only thing is, I've got two offers pending; one's from Sam, and the other's from Daniel.


Part I: "Sounds like a normal male fantasy to me."


The suns were shining. The birds were singing. The scientists were swaying from the trees.

“Well, this is a new predicament,” said Daniel.

“Gosh, Daniel, you think?” Sam bit back.

Daniel didn’t bother responding, which was pretty much the only thing Sam had to be grateful about for the day. This mission had started out unwelcome and had quickly become unbearable, and that was before their most recent misstep. Her shirt stayed tucked into her BDU pants, but her jacket was bunching up around her arms as gravity worked its magic. She eyed the ropes cutting off the blood flow to their ankles. “These ropes look old.”

“They’d have to be, considering how long this planet’s been abandoned – or how long we thought it was,” he corrected himself.

“So much for archaeology.”

Watching him out of the corner of her eye – as best she could, given their erratic swinging – she could see him gear up for another sarcastic response before a second idea crossed his face. “Wait, they’re not going to break, are they?” He eyed the fraying line below – above - holding them with alarm.

Sam smirked. “At least we won’t be stuck here forever.”

Daniel did not look comforted.

Brushing away the uncharitable thought that he’d deserved it, Sam could feel the swelling in her cheeks and upper extremities and knew she had to try something soon. With an awkward heave, she started pumping her body to increase her swing.

Daniel eyed her and the tenuous rope. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

Sam ignored him, focusing instead on building momentum. When she had all the speed she figured was safe, she said a quick prayer for years of physical training to pay off and flung her arms over her head forward, hauling her upper body upwards. She managed to bend nearly in half, reaching towards her ankles, before her abs gave out and she fell back down, muscles exhausted.

“Nice try,” Daniel said with some sympathy.

Sam sighed. “I’m officially too old for this.”

After a moment, Daniel asked, “What were you hoping to do if it worked?”

“I don’t know, climb up to the branch. Maybe get to my knife and swing to that tree trunk.” She tried to shrug. It didn’t work so well.

Daniel was eyeing her thoughtfully. “Where is it?”

For all the roadblocks they’d encountered that day, with the mission and each other, Sam at once understood his intention. “My left boot.”

“Got it.” Following her example, Daniel began to change the direction of his swing, on a heading perpendicular to Sam. She oriented her head to face him, hoping her body would stay at least generally turned that way. Fortunately, the traps into which they’d stepped weren’t too far apart, so when he made contact with her, it was more of a bump than a crash, followed by desperate clutching to stay together.

It was then they discovered that Daniel’s rope was a foot shorter than Sam’s.

“Sorry,” he mumbled into her chest, hands groping for a point of contact that wouldn’t constitute sexual harassment. The residual pendulum motion didn’t help; each time his grip slipped, he flailed for the closest piece of her and held on tighter.

Sam grabbed a fistful of BDU and tried to get a knee around his thigh to control their swinging. “Just get the knife.”

Red-faced – from dangling upside-down, she was sure – he used the meager leverage Sam’s hanging form provided to push himself upwards to the branch, down her body. He tried to fold in on himself as he went, twisting around so as not to strain her rope with their combined weight, which started them twirling in addition to their sway. Now moving on two axes, Sam tried not to look at the ground spinning below them, and tried harder to ignore Daniel’s pawing.

If it weren’t for the events leading up to their awkward situation, she might’ve laughed at his discomfort and teased him. But after the third muffled apology when a hand placement went awry in some squishy part of her, Sam said irritably, “Just get up there and get it over with.”

Daniel didn’t bother responding, but obeyed. As Sam watched his progression, she thought idly that the whole mess would never have happened if they hadn’t been arguing …

*

“I can’t believe they just left us,” Sam said in exasperation.

“I can’t believe you’re not tired of saying that,” Daniel groused back. He pushed aside a low-hanging branch to pass by; Sam was just fast enough to avoid it hitting her in the face when it sprang back into its natural place. Daniel didn’t seem to have noticed as he forged ahead.

She caught up with quick steps. “Excuse me for trying to find an explanation.”

Daniel sighed, long-suffering. “We’ve been over it. The Asgard aren’t exactly known for considering secondary consequences. We know they were monitoring a situation in their galaxy; something must’ve come up and they needed to respond to it. Or maybe Jack called, Thor seems to respond to him.”

“Leaving science for another day,” she finished. “But I can’t believe they – ” Daniel stopped to give a warning glare “ – didn’t at least communicate, or leave us supplies.”

A rock slide covered the ground ahead of them. Daniel stepped gingerly, testing for loose stones. “I don’t know what you’re so worried about. The SGC knows where we are, and when we miss our check-in, they’ll send a team or the Odyssey.”

“And until then?”

He shrugged. “It’s a forest planet, and people used to live here once upon a time. There’s got to be water and some food sources.” The trees gave way to a dry streambed. He hopped over in one stride. “There’s plenty of space for both of us to survive without even needing to be within shouting distance of each other.”

She bristled. “Don’t be ridiculous. One of us might get injured. Plus, you don’t have military survival training.”

He rolled his eyes. “And years of traveling across the galaxy count for nothing, I suppose.”

Sam suppressed the voice inside her calling for her to scream at them both, to make them sit down and talk without the veneer of hostility that chased them across the galaxy. “With a team of airmen to watch your back? No.”

“Well, far be it from me to disparage the vaunted talents of the United States Air Force,” he snapped.

Unable to stand any more of this, Sam grabbed his shoulder and pushed him around to face her. “What the hell is wrong with you, Daniel?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“Don’t change the subject.”

He shrugged her hand away and crossed his arms. “I never intended to.”

His cold stare was breaking her resolve. “This isn’t like us,” she tried, unable to keep the accusatory edge from her voice.

His eyes flicked briefly to the side but came back hard. “Maybe it is,” he said cryptically, turning back to the forest and marching on.

Sam watched his retreating backside in disbelief. She scurried after him to keep it in sight through the spreading trees and emerged into a shaded clearing. He was almost to the other side when she caught sight of it. “Daniel, look out – ”

He barely had time to turn his head before being suddenly jerked up into the air by his ankles. Sam was too late to catch him, but not too late to avoid tripping the second trap and seeing her world turn upside-down before she knew what was happening.

*

Daniel was now bent in half, ass hanging down and one arm clinging to Sam’s legs while the other hand fumbled for her knife. He had just brushed its handle when a loud CRACK sounded. Startled, he lost his grip and slid down her body, finally catching hold at her waist.

They swung in the air with Daniel’s face planted firmly in Sam’s crotch.

One or the other might have regained the power of speech eventually had they not been interrupted by a third voice.

“Oi, what do we have here?” someone called from below. Pushing her flash of embarrassment aside, Sam tilted her head back to see a group of human men, clad in galaxy-standard leather and carrying handheld energy weapons. There were five of them, and once they got a better look at Sam and Daniel’s position, they broke into harsh laughter. Sam felt Daniel’s arms tighten around her middle as he tried to extract his face from between her legs.

“A little help, here?” Sam shouted down. Daniel was wiggling, and there were so very many reasons why that was a bad thing.

The leader nodded to his men, bald head gleaming in the filtered sunlight. “Do as the lady says. Hakim was right; the boss will want to see these ones.”

“Shit,” said Daniel, finally having extricated himself. For a change, Sam couldn’t have agreed more.

Part II: "Maybe he read your report?"


Being frogmarched through a forest with your hands tied behind your back, Daniel thought, was pretty much the same on every planet. The mercenary band wasn’t large, but their ready guns were enough to dissuade him, and he assumed Sam, from thoughts of making a break for it. Despite the weapons, he didn’t feel much of a threat and found himself chalking the capture up as one more unfortunate event on a mission of personal hell.

To pass the time and keep himself distracted, he soaked up the information the men freely revealed in their banter. Daniel had been right; the planet wasn’t inhabited, just used as a covert trading site, and he and Sam were the newest goods acquired. Joral, the leader, held up a fat pouch. “Think Hakim’ll notice if we lighten this load before he gets it?”

Another man scoffed. “He’s a sly one. Boss’ll get you if he ever finds out and squeals.”

Joral, with a reluctant and melodramatic sigh, abandoned his whim and told Daniel in a false aside, “We’re not usually in the business, but when Hakim gave the boss your descriptions, well, we’d be fools to pass up the chance.”

“Good for you,” Daniel grumbled, turning his head away from the the clear remains of Joral's lunch stuck in his remaining teeth. Still unsettled from his circus act earlier, he was feeling less than diplomatic. If he were honest with himself, it wasn’t just the vertigo that had his head spinning. He tried slowing his steps to fall back to Sam but was prodded sharply in the back.

“Hey! No dawdling. What, she wear you out up there?” As with every raunchy joke at Daniel’s expense on this march, the other men burst into laughter.

Daniel was hardly a prude, but he found the repeated speculation and insinuation on their extracurricular activities grating. He’d learned quickly not to try to gauge Sam’s reaction – it only amused them more.

In his distraction, he drifted again and got another, harder poke for his trouble. “She seems to know how to keep him in line, maybe we should let her handle him.” More laughter, with bonus puns on the word “handle.”

Being on the receiving end – his own brain betrayed him – of a bad guy’s wit wasn’t new and shouldn’t faze him. The problem was very real sense memory of being in the much-discussed situation. In their years of traveling, most of the SG teams had seen one another in various awkward states, and inhibitions went out the door in close quarters. But Daniel couldn’t erase the feel of Sam’s body from his hands, and the scent of her lingered in his nose.

Maybe there was something wrong with him. He made a mental note to get thoroughly checked out in the infirmary when they got back. This reaction couldn’t be normal. It could’ve been that device.

Maybe it was their earlier argument. Sam hadn’t said a word since the thugs had cut them down, which was probably a good thing in favor of keeping a united front. She probably still blamed him for getting them into the situation in the first place, or whatever it was that had her pissed off at him all mission long. If it hadn’t started before they even left the SGC, he’d wonder if there was something in this planet’s air.

Or maybe he was just a guy who’d gone without for far too long. Not that he thought about those things, being in the saving the world business. Right. Like he didn’t have a daily reminder back home that he need only say the word to end the dry spell, teammates or not.

He chastised himself for the unfair thought to Vala and refocused on their captors. The gang seemed to have had their fill with impugning Daniel’s manhood and refocused their efforts on Sam. It was amateur, garden-variety stuff, but it was incessant. Now in an open field – heading, Daniel noted with trepidation, to the ‘gate - they’d spread out their formation, so Daniel could see the tension in Sam’s jaw increasing with each come on and dirty glare. Daniel felt a cool trickling and realized with surprise that he’d scratched open a scab on his hand. Trying to staunch the cut as best he could with tied wrists, he glanced up to see Sam ignoring the thugs’ jibes and giving him an inscrutable look.

An extraordinarily hairy man with a wide and yellow-toothed grin awaited them at the DHD. He said nothing, but gleefully accepted the pouch Joral tossed him. “Hakim, I presume,” said Daniel.

The man grunted in response, eyeing the two of them. The men turned Sam and Daniel away from the DHD while they dialed, so they had an easy view of Hakim’s summons to Jorel and low-voiced conversation in a language Daniel couldn’t make out. They were arguing about something, though it didn’t seem to be the pouch. He could feel Sam’s questioning look but could only shake his head.

Finally, Joral gave a dismissing bark of laughter and turned back to them, leaving Hakim to trudge off. “Do you know, he was willing to give back half his earnings to purchase you,” he said to Sam. “I told him he’d have to raise the price; that one’s no good.” He nodded his head at Daniel.

Daniel had heard of a berserker's vision being clouded in red, but this was the first time he’d experienced literal red rage. A bump on his shoulder brought him back just in time for them both to be shoved through the gate.

They emerged on a rockier world, but with only one sun, it was cooler in the open air. Joral led them to a structure a short distance from a rambling foothill. “Taygar!” he called out. He gave Sam one last lecherous once-over – Daniel barely restrained a body check – before another man stepped outside. His cleaner leathers and slick hair gave him a slimy authority the others lacked.

Taygar, he presumed, eyed them as well but focused on their shoulder patches. “So Hakim was right.” He smirked. “Tau’ri. What brings you to my part of the galaxy?”

Just hanging around, Daniel wanted to say, but fortunately, Sam was faster. “Conducting a geological survey.” A real SGC survey would’ve involved a back-up team to watch over (he cringed) the scientists’ backs. But Taygar wouldn’t know that, nor would he notice Daniel’s flinch at the word “survey.” It was futile to protest that archaeology had been his only concern…

*

It was good to see Thor again, if nothing else. The journey on the Daniel Jackson (and yeah, he wouldn’t be human if he didn’t still get a little thrill from that) had been as short as promised, and Sam and he had found plenty of room to roam independently, and enough excuses not to be in the same room alone together. If Thor noticed their avoidance, he didn’t comment on it. Daniel thought it was blatantly obvious, but then, Asgard.

They used the travel time to familiarize themselves with the mission's background. With Thor shepherding, there hadn’t been need of supplies or weaponry; they’d return to the ship every night to analyze their data and sleep. Daniel planned to work himself into a deep exhaustion every day until they could get free.

Thing was, the mission simply wasn’t that exciting. As an academic, Daniel had always found ways to interest himself in survey work, but ten years of traipsing around the galaxy had changed him. The ruins Thor wanted them to examine were scant and very little marked. Digging wasn’t much use if there wasn’t anything to find, which left them spending long days with little reward.

And each other. On the afternoon of the third day, Daniel let out a grand sigh.

“No kidding,” Sam commented. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t have remarked it, but it was the first thing that wasn’t mission-related she’d said to him all day, maybe even all mission. He’d been trying to ignore her – they seemed to have come to a tacit agreement to avoid clashing at work and deal with their problem when they got home, if at all - but he was finding it more difficult in practice than in planning.

He squinted up at where she was silhouetted against the afternoon sun. One of them. Her soil analysis tools were laid out on the ground with less care than usual; she plugged the newest one into the centrifuge with a lackadaisical nudge and stood to stretch. He watched her unfold, arms reaching to the sky and back curving ever so…

“Find anything good yet?”

Startled, he dropped his notebook. “Um…not really. It could be what they’re looking for, or not.”

“Great. And we won’t go home until they have an answer.” She crouched back down and he could make out her cross expression once more. “Can’t you get anything from the fossil remains?”

“Can’t you get anything from the mineral samples?” he shot back. Whatever relenting sentiments had come into his mind were banished.

“Yes…maybe,” she admitted. “I need better tools. There’s something inorganic here, but its composition isn’t clear.”

“So call Thor.” No professional pride would compel him to get the answers first this time. He thought back to when they’d often challenged each other to be the first to find something that would pique even Jack’s interest. They didn’t keep score, but Daniel was pretty sure that before Kelowna, they’d been at a draw.

But that was, literally, lifetimes ago.

Sam, shoulders tense, gave him a look of exasperation. “I was just going to.” She pulled the communications crystal from her pocket and pressed the dimple on the surface. “Thor, come in.”

No response.

Sam tried again. “Thor? Are you there?”

Nothing. Sam turned the scanner the Asgard had loaned her to the sky. Daniel watched intently for a response, only to see her face fall. “Uh oh.”

There was no way this mission could get worse.

*

Boy, had he ever been wrong. Taygar didn’t notice Daniel’s flush as he focused on Sam’s innocent expression. He clearly didn’t believe a word, but he played along. “And what did you find in your little survey?”

Daniel jumped in. “Not much. We were just going to head home, actually, and tell everyone not to bother going back there. It’s worthless to us.”

Sam nodded. “We can still do that. Our superiors probably won’t even notice we were gone.”

Privately, Daniel felt that Sam’s confident bearing and speech gave her rank away freely, but he gamely added, “Sorry, but we’re just not that important. Barely worth your time.”

Taygar smirked. “Then I’m sure no one will notice when you don’t return. Joral, let’s put these scientists to better use. Take them to the mines.”

As Joral hauled Daniel along, he gave him another grin. “Not much privacy in those quarters, but you’re resourceful, if nothing else. I’m sure you’ll find a way to pass the time.”

Images flashed through his mind; reflexively, he looked over at Sam, and Joral laughed knowingly.

It was probably a good thing for the universe, in the long run, that he didn’t act on his impulse to call Taygar back and ask to be shot instead.

Part III: "Why do I feel like I'm in a women behind bars movie?"


The best thing Sam could say about their situation was that they’d been kept together.

The worst thing Sam could say about their situation was that they’d been kept together.

Prisons and labor camps were nothing new to the SGC experience, and as now-General O’Neill had predicted back when they were new, they all turned out to be much alike, after a while. The guards, the “food,” the other inmates – the differences were in the settings. Version Taygar was a maze of above-ground metal ore mines. The labor was hard, but not fatally exhausting, allowing them no convenient excuse to drop off to sleep in their designated alcove when the workday was done. Sleep wasn’t such a thrilling prospect, anyway; Joral had found it appropriate to grant them one threadbare blanket to share on the rocky floor. After one very tense and sleepless night, the last thing Sam looked forward to was cuddling up close to Daniel again.

Sleeping. She meant sleeping.

Once or twice, one of them broke their heavy silence with the notion of escape. The change in planets had narrowed their chances of a swift rescue. Unfortunately, without any weapons (Sam’s knife was long-confiscated), they stood little chance of accomplishing much.

“I could try seducing them,” Sam suggested lamely on the second day there, now almost a week out from their departure from Earth.

Daniel snorted.

Her head snapped around. “What? You don’t think I could do it?”

“I don’t think you would do it,” he corrected her.

She rolled her eyes. “This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not exactly enjoying our private suite.”

“Desperate measures in desperate times?”

“You could at least pretend to consider the plan, you know.”

He stiffened and shook his head. “It wouldn’t work, anyway. They’re all convinced we’re runaway lovers by now.”

It was true. The story of their capture had spread through the prison like a particularly virulent strain of plague, growing as it went. The first repetition had been something like the truth; the latest ones had them as outlaws, children of warring families forced into separate arranged marriages, with no recourse other than to run away together.

Joral, of course, made sure that Sam was the one stealing Daniel away in all the tales. She huffed. “Some lovers we make.”

It must’ve been getting warm, because Daniel’s face looked a little red. “All grope, no glory.”

She refused to give him the satisfaction of a laugh and wondered what incarceration would be like if their relationship hadn’t taken a swift turn for the disastrous. Prison would never be fun, but with her best friend along, and her confidence in the rest of the SGC, at least the downtime would’ve been tolerable.

Of course, it wasn’t all his fault, not that she wanted to say so at the moment. Her words had started the outright hostility, but why they’d provoked such a strong reaction, she had no idea. He had to have known how it was after all this time, hadn't he?

He raised his head from his knees and craned his neck to look out the opening. “I think they’re changing shifts.”

“All of them?”

“Wait – no, just the closest pair.” He sighed and leaned back against the wall. “Beam me up, Teal’c,” he muttered.

“As long as our locator chip signals will transmit through the rock,” she said automatically, and oh, why could she never keep her big mouth shut.

Daniel lifted his head in alarm. “You did not just say that.”

“It should be fine. I’m sure it’s fine. Don’t give me that look!” She clamped down the impulse to find something large enough to throw at him.

He groaned and swore under his breath.

“You’re not the only one having a bad day, you know.” Apparently, her verbal inhibitions had taken the day off.

Daniel looked incredulous. “Are you expecting a pity party? I’m fresh out of it.”

Sam ignored him. “I wasn’t even supposed to be on this mission in the first place…”

*

Sam didn't miss the relief on Cam, Vala, and Teal'c's faces when they were called to the briefing room; the rest of SG-1 was clearly confused and annoyed by the cold distance she and Daniel had maintained all morning. Fortunately, Thor’s surprise appearance only left her time to be grateful not to have to sit either next to or directly across from Daniel. The tenured members of the SGC suspected Thor’s mission wasn’t entirely altruistic and patiently waited out Landry’s questioning.

Once the general sat back, satisfied, Thor again expressed his greetings and got down to business. Sam listened in amazement. “You think your ancestors came from our galaxy?”

“That is our hypothesis,” Thor confirmed. “As you recall, our ancient forms are quite similar to yours.”

Daniel, despite his funk, wore a familiar piqued expression, and Sam wanted to probe further, too, but Landry cut to the chase. “I’m sure it’s all very fascinating, but what exactly do you want us to do?”

“We have located the planet on which we believe our people to have originated. However, the Asgard have not studied the practice of archaeology in millennia; therefore, we request Doctor Jackson’s assistance.”

Daniel sat straight up, his dolor forgotten, while Sam bit her cheek in face of a powerful surge of jealousy. She watched him adjust his glasses. “I’d love to. When do we leave?”

Landry opened his mouth – then gave up with a resigned nod.

“We may leave as soon as you are prepared,” said Thor.

As irritated as Sam was not to be the Asgard’s chosen human geek, she couldn’t help her relief. At least she wouldn’t have to be near him. The mission could take days, maybe weeks. It was an encouraging thought. Really.

Her hope was short-lived. Cameron, across from her, got a look in his eyes that Sam knew meant trouble. “Excuse me, Thor,” he started, “will you be looking for evidence of technology, proof that these supposed ancestors could have made the journey to your galaxy?”

“Yes, Colonel Mitchell.”

“Then it sounds like you could use someone with an engineering background, too.” He nodded at Sam.

She shook her head. “Oh, no, I’m sure Thor will do far better than I ever could.” Next to Cameron, Daniel started to nod, then caught her eye and looked away.

“I agree with Mitchell,” piped up Vala, on Sam’s left. “Sam would be a fine addition to this project.”

Sam gaped at her, then whipped her head around as Teal’c spoke up. “Indeed. The Asgard place great value on her ‘stupid’ thinking.”

Traitor. Sam stared in astonishment. Teal’c simply smiled.

Sam looked around to see four humans and one Asgard watching her in expectation. Daniel’s glower focused on the table-top.

She turned to the alien, her last hope. “Thor?”

“I would be grateful of your assistance, Colonel Carter. I did not ask because I felt depriving Stargate Command of both of you would be unwelcome.”

Landry was quick to respond, “We can spare them.” Thor accepted, noted when he would retrieve them, and beamed away. At Landry’s dismissal, Vala and Teal’c high-tailed it out of the room with their smug expressions. Cam moved to follow, but paused to lean on the table between them.

“Whatever’s going on,” he said in a low voice, looking between the shell-shocked scientists, “use the field trip to fix it.” He pushed off and took a step towards the door, then turned back. “That’s an order.”

He ignored their mutual affront and left with a slap on the doorjamb, sparing Sam the court-martial when she told him exactly what he could do with those orders.

*

“I still say we should try seduction,” Sam grumbled.

“Absolutely not.”

If Sam didn’t know better, she’d suspect him of being jealous. In spite of her determination to ignore it, she was still puzzling over his strange behavior after their capture. “Just because I do nothing for you doesn’t mean –”

“I never said that.”

Before she could answer – which was good, because she didn’t have one – the guards fetched them for the second shift. To be honest, Sam was more bored than anything else with the work. Mining industrial ore didn’t even yield anything the SGC could ever use. All she had for scenery was rock, more rock, Daniel, rock, Daniel’s biceps, rock –

She shook her head. No, none of that, and damn him for putting those thoughts in her mind, just when she'd finally managed to eradicate them.

“Sam?” Daniel was looking at her quizzically and she realized that she’d been staring at him despite herself. She was saved from having to answer when he tilted his head to the side and looked up. “Do you hear that?”

A low rumbling started, slowly escalating in volume. Loose dust shook to the ground.

“Get down!” shouted Daniel. He leaped forward, shoving her down to the ground and covering her body with his. Sam scrunched up and turned her face to the ground, a last, desperate regret flashing through her mind.

She barely had time to take stock of what it was when the rumbling was replaced by her new least favorite sound – the guards’ raucous laughter.

As one, Sam and Daniel groaned and turned their heads to their captors.

Joral was grinning at them. “Ship landing.”

Of course it was.

Part IV: " Haven't you ever had a feeling that made absolutely no logical sense and it turned out to be right?"


After their mistaken distress, the so-called brainier fraction of SG-1 was dumped back in their makeshift cell. The cargo ship’s arrival meant the burlier captured Jaffa were put to work ferrying rock, and Taygar had found that not enough got done with the workforce depleted to be worth continuing work without them. Sam and Daniel collapsed against opposite walls, tired mentally, physically, and emotionally. The space was just large enough for their feet not to touch, if they bent their knees.

After a moment, Sam caught Daniel’s eye. She looked…not like anything he’d seen in the past week. He was almost too tired to raise his eyebrows in question. “Can we be done fighting now?” she said in an unnaturally small voice.

“Yes, please,” he said, reaching out a hand. She scooted along the curving wall to his side and they leaned against one another, hands clasped. Daniel didn't realize how tensely curled he'd been until he let himself relax into her.

Her sigh seemed to indicate she felt the same. “I’m sorry.”

“So’m I. What are we sorry about?”

“Stupid things.” She blew her hair out of her eyes.

“Very. Like what Joral would say if he came over right now.”

He could hear the eye-roll in her voice. “You try to get down from one stupid tree and people assume all kinds of crazy things.”

“A friend can’t help out a friend anymore.”

“Seriously. How much more obvious could it have been that we’re not…like that?”

Daniel shrugged his free shoulder. “Maybe it was the fighting. That's supposed to show true love, right?”

Sam chuckled. “Ah, I see. If they really knew us, they'd see we couldn’t be together because we’re too much alike. There’d be no sparks flying.”

“No lover’s quarrels. We wouldn’t even argue over the remote.”

“Or about whether to hit the museums or see a baseball game on the weekend.”

“Vacation spots?”

She looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Do we ever take vacations?”

“Good point. Our only drama would be getting around Air Force regs.”

“We’d have to keep it a secret. Hey, there’s some more drama for you.” She poked him gently.

He grinned. “No one would ever guess. Well, maybe Teal’c.”

“Teal’c would definitely know. We’d have to swear him to secrecy.”

“Should we tell Mitchell and Vala?”

Sam shook her head. “No, we shouldn’t put Cam in that position. I’m sure you could find some way to distract Vala.”

“I don’t know, playing along with her might interfere with our secret storage closet make-out sessions.”

“Daniel, I never knew you were so romantic.”

“I have many hidden talents.” She laughed again and he gave her hand a squeeze. “And if I broke your heart, your brother wouldn’t get to threaten to kick my ass – you’d do it for him.”

“My dad always liked you, you know.”

He looked down at her. “Yeah?”

She nodded, avoiding his gaze by examining a smudge on her pants. “He asked me, once…”

“And you told him what you told Bill, right?” It took a lot of willpower not to lean the other way. He forced his hand to stay still.

“Daniel…”

“No, it’s okay, Sam. I get it. I might not like it, but I get it.”

She sat up and turned to face him, and he couldn’t look away. “No, Daniel. You don’t.”

“After that morning? I think I did…”

*

The artifact was from a planet abandoned under mysterious circumstances. It had a mysterious purpose, a mysterious design, and mysterious writing all over it.

In other words, Sam and Daniel were in seventh heaven. The rest of SG-1 wisely left them alone in Sam’s lab while they turned it in every direction, poked it as much as they felt was safe (okay, maybe past that point), and compared it to every book Daniel could cart in and website Sam could dig up. The hours went by, SGC changed shifts more than once, and still they remained.

“It’s like something I’ve seen, something…” Daniel waved his hands vaguely.

“You said that before. If I could just take it apart…”

“You said that before.”

They sighed and stared at the new bane of their existence.

“Food?” Daniel suggested.

“No, it’s the wrong shape to be an alien microwave.”

Daniel raised his eyebrows. “I meant for us.”

“Oh! Uh, yeah, that sounds good.” Her stomach rumbled loudly in agreement. “Very good, actually. Commissary still open?” She glanced at her watch. “Okay, that’s a no.”

“How about Denny’s?” Daniel suggested.

They grabbed their least confidential sets of notes and shuffled to the door. Sam stopped short and spun around. “Wait!”

Daniel never got to find out what the new light in her eyes meant, as the command to wait didn’t reach him in time to stop his momentum. He crashed straight into Sam, who bounced off his chest and stumbled backwards. All of their notes went flying; Daniel grabbed Sam by the shoulders just in time for her to slip on one of the fallen notebooks and go down sliding. Her right leg shot out and she fell back, stopped just short of landing on her ass by Daniel’s strong grip around her back and her arm around his neck.

They both waited a moment to make sure nothing else was going to move on them. The world stabilized, and upon realizing their cinematic pose, both broke into smiles.

“My hero,” Sam quipped. Her smile was just inches in front of him. Daniel thought they'd stopped moving, but the way his head was starting to get fuzzy made him wonder. It also made him wonder what would happen if he pulled her upright just a little too forcefully and she fell forward into -

“Colonel Carter, I think you’ll – ” Bill Lee stopped short in the doorway, his eyes widening. “Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt…” He looked back and forth between Sam and Daniel.

Faster than Daniel thought was possible, Sam launched herself upright and five feet away from him. “It’s not what you think.”

Bill held up his hands. “Hey, no censure here. You know, I’ve always thought you two – ”

“Bill!” Sam said sharply. “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s just Daniel. Now, what did you want to show me?”

Daniel couldn’t focus on whatever Dr. Lee was excitedly – he must have had a caffeine IV, considering the hour – describing to Sam. Her words rang in his head. When he finally responded to her calling his name, her furrowed brow showed it must not have been the first time. “Daniel? Are you coming?”

He snapped his jaw shut on the first retort that came to mind and instead crouched down to gather his notes. “I’m going to head home for a few hours. I’m tired.”

Sam took a step towards him. “Are you sure? Just a few minutes ago, you were –”

“I said I’m going home,” he snapped, with a glare.

She bristled. “Fine. After you, Doctor Lee.”

Daniel got out of her lab and the SGC as fast as he could. Maybe they were just tired. Late night, weird thoughts. A few hours of sleep should have him back to normal and they could forget all about anything that might have been said, or felt, or implied in the odd hours of an SGC morning.

*

Sam shook her head. “I was…startled. I said something reflexive. I didn’t mean to hurt you. You know that, right?” She brushed his hair back from the temple.

Daniel sighed. “Yeah. And it wouldn’t have, normally. I think I was as surprised by myself as you were.” He closed his eyes. “I thought if I got some sleep, it would go away.”

“Your anger?”

“Well, yes, but more importantly…” He shook his head slowly, with her hand still resting on his cheek. “Forget it. We’re okay now, right? We will be?”

Sam stared at him, letting her hand fall. He could tell from the way she was scanning his face that something was churning in her mind, just out of his grasp. Finally, she wet her lips and opened them to say, “It wasn’t just you. I knew it was wrong in my gut as soon as I said it. It's just that...I spent a long time trying to get to that point, and I thought I finally had.”

“And now?” A moment’s hesitation, then he took her hand in his.

“I think we’ve both figured it out, don’t you?”

Daniel sat forward, squeezing her hand. He wanted to say something, but considering how far words were getting them lately, chose instead to put his free hand behind her head and slowly lean in…

The rocky walls surrounding them were suddenly replaced by the bridge of the Odyssey and all its crew, including the remaining members of SG-1.

Sam and Daniel groaned.

Teal’c raised an eyebrow.

Vala remarked, “I don’t think they’re fighting anymore.”

Mitchell rolled his eyes. “You’re welcome.”

Epilogue: "It's good to know you don't just like me for my looks."


He found her in her lab, staring at the artifact. Like him, she was in civvies, but she showed no signs of intending to leave soon. “We’re both on stand-down, you know.”

“Hm?” She looked up. “Oh, hey, I didn’t hear you come in.”

He crossed to her side of the table and matched her leaning position on it with a gentle bump to her side. “Are we going to talk about it?”

She raised a skeptical eyebrow. “You really think it’s smart to do that here after how they found us before?”

“Taygar should really work on his prison keeping,” he grumbled. Then he brightened. “On the plus side, it gives us plausible deniability. We were playing into their assumptions.”

With a matching smile, she set down her pencil. “Exactly. So it wouldn’t be weird if we kept practicing that cover story. You know, in case we run into his band again.”

“Over dinner? A real one, this time?” He stood up straight and offered her an arm.

She took it firmly, grabbing her jacket as they headed to the door. “Perfect. And we can work out the classified details at my house afterwards.”

“Details?”

“Specific scenarios. Like what to do in compromising positions, for instance.”

“Colonel Carter, have I told you lately that you’re brilliant?”

“Whoa, slow down with that sweet talk, Daniel. People might start to suspect something.”

“We’ll just tell them I swept you off your feet.”

~*~

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